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People in the News: Sep 20, 2011

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Martin Madaus has been named as Quanterix's permanent CEO. Madaus, who is chairman of the company, had been serving as interim CEO since May when David Okrongly left the Cambridge, Mass.-based array company.

Madaus has served as a director of Quanterix since 2010, and became chairman of the firm last December. Prior to joining Quanterix, he served as president, chairman, and CEO of Millipore before it was acquired by Merck last year. Before his tenure at Millipore, Madaus was president, CEO, and head of North American operations for Roche Diagnostics.


Former Solexa CEO John West has been named CEO of startup Personalis, a human genome analysis firm co-founded by West and Stanford University researchers Euan Ashley, Russ Altman, Atul Butte, and Mike Snyder.

Following Illumina's 2006 acquisition of Solexa, West served as senior vice president and general manager for Illumina's DNA sequencing business. Before joining Solexa as CEO in 2004, West was vice president of DNA platforms at Applied Biosystems.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.